the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. – Galatians 5:22-23
What a spectacular weekend here in Wake Forest! Sunshine, temps in the 60’s and 70’s, a little Saturday golf, walks in the Piedmont, dinner parties, then a beautiful morning of worship with our church family at WFPC.
There were gaggles of children everywhere, we received new members at both services, the buzz of excitement to be in church was palpable, and Rebekah wrapped up her series on The Fruit of the Spirit with a powerful message on “gentleness and self control.”
She turned the traditional self control equation upside down by telling a poignant story about how – when she failed to conjure up love for a difficult person despite her best efforts – her eventual surrender to God made all the difference (and has on many occasions). Because, while self control is all about us, surrender is all about God. First, however, that surrender has to be our choice.
“All to Jesus I surrender; I surrender all…”
We must understand that we cannot by sheer will command love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness… and certainly not self control. However, when we cultivate our relationship to Jesus, when we place ourselves in more intentional proximity to God, then the fruit of the Spirit becomes not our obligation but our opportunity; gentleness and self control are not our responsibility, but our response to Jesus.
Here’s a link to Rebekah’s message – “Gentleness and Self Control“. You can pick it up at the 12:00 minute time stamp.
If there is anything this world needs a lot more of right now, it is committed followers of Jesus living love out loud – disciples who tell the truth about the Gospel simply by the way that they live.
I’ll take a large helping of that – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there's always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor's degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men's Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.